Tencent, Novartis expand teamwork on chronic disease – China Daily
What happened: Chinese tech giant Tencent has signed a memorandum with Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis to extend their partnership to cover heart failure and other chronic diseases. The cooperation will initially start in China to explore the possibility of leveraging artificial intelligence to boost integrated management for patients with chronic diseases, with the potential to expand to other countries.
Why it’s important: China is fertile ground for online healthcare thanks to its tech-savvy and legacy-free environment. Tencent has made in-roads into the medical industry with an appointment platform for hospitals and even its own clinics. At the same time, rival Alibaba has an AI diagnostic system and offers medical bill payment on Alipay. Other major players in the vertical include Hong Kong-listed Ping An Good Doctor, DXY, Medlinker, among others. Technologies including advanced analytics, machine learning, the internet of things, online sales technologies, distributed ledgers, and virtual reality is increasingly applicable in healthcare and are expected to become ubiquitous around the world, according to consulting firm Bain & Company.